Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

Prev  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  Next

Comments 951 to 1000:

  1. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    Regarding the Arctic report card, maybe one can cool off Arctic waters slightly again and grow more food like this: Use a heat pump to take heat from the ocean and put the heat into huge greenhouses to grow food in Nuuk, etc. The heat pump could be powered by wind power (wind turbines, etc). Heat pumps are very efficient - a little power provides a lot of heat. If you had massive greenhouses you may be able to start a thriving food industry. The air is often colder than the sea, so if you pump heat from the sea having T= 0 deg C into a greenhouse with T=10 deg C it will be very efficient (warm sea, relatively). Massive greenhouses could take a lot of heat from the ocean - perhaps enough to make a little difference locally. See

  2. Skeptical Science wins 2016 NCSE Friend of the Planet award

  3. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49


    I think that the Trump administration has figured out that there is no case for the Red team to argue  A Red-Blue team exercise would show that scientists agree that AGW is human caused and a severe threat to humanity. 

    The original conservative idea was to make scientists agree on a consensus.  They thought that scientists would never agree.  That was the start of the IPCC reports.  Those reports now show we are in deep doo-doo.

    The"skeptic" argument does not withstand close scrutiny.  They can only continue to argue when they are able to change their argument every minute.

  4. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    I meant replace corn biofuels crops with a mixture of other crops and grazing land  for cattle and sheep, whatever. And a few chickens and pigs, free range.

    Must stop trying to type while watching tv.

  5. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Red Baron @11, you haven't read what I said.  I did allude to the fact that corn biofuel crops are a foolish thing in post 1.  

    Maybe  that corn biofuels land should be replaced partly with other crops for normal consumption, and some for animals. You appear to be aiming for a balanced, natural sort of integrated system which would make sense to me. I think we get into trouble with crazy extreme experiments and monocultures etc.

  6. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    As I (and a number of other commentators suspected) Trump has "put on hold" the Red Team Blue Team proposal of Scott Pruitt.  Here is what Climatewire reported on December 15, 2017:

    "The effort by U.S. EPA to publicly debate mainstream climate science is on ice. The idea has created divisions within the Trump administration, spurring high-level staff discussions at the White House about how to proceed."

    If I were to guess, Trump is a little worried about his "hoax" comment.

    I suspect that Curry et al have said no if there is interference in the process.  So Trump has put it on interminable "hold".

  7. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50


    Amazing that you would be concerned about animal agriculture crowding out crops, when right now 1/2 the main commodity crop production in the USA is for biofuels! 70%+ if you count the bad ways to raise animals.

    Come on now, this is far far worse. Of course animal husbandry has priority over ethanol production and feeding feedlots and other CAFOs! Particularly if those animals are raised on a newly restored prairie grassland biome!

    Yes crowd that excess over production of corn and soy that is produced in quantities so huge it would be impossible for every man woman and child on the whole planet to possibly ever eat it all.

    It must be crowded out! It is the primary problem! That land needs to be rested from commodity grain production! But the farmer still needs to make a living. Raising animals on restored and regenerating land is how you do what I spoke about in post #3.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 07:36 AM on 18 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    In addition to nigelj' comment about the benefits of availability of contraception, it is also undeniable that assistance to women in poverty must include 'safe abortion' as an option.

    That reality, and other unjust factors, led the Unite the Right temporary leaders in Canada (the Harper Conservative Government) to attempt to secretively de-fund KAIROS. Even though KAIROS met the qualification requirements for government funding, the Conservative Minister Bev Oda famously hand-wrote "Not" onto the assessment. Then the Unite the Righters, right up to the Prime Minister told a variety of fibs claiming they had not unjustly and secretively 'acted politically' to defund KAIROS. Ultimately Bev Oda left her Ministers role, but remained an elected representative long enough to 'qualify for maximum pension' then resigned before the next election. And yes, the Unite the Right temporary leaders in Canada also defunded climate science and any other science that may expose the unacceptablility of popular and profitable pursuits of short-term gain for a few to the detriment of all others (including tax cuts for the richest and claims that nothing should be done by Canada regarding climate change, mainly because Canada was such a small player (less than 2% of global total, but in the top 10 of biggest contributing nation and with nearly the highest per-capita impacts) until 'what was required was known for certain - and would be be certain to be cheaper and more profitable than what was able to be gotten away with).

    And the cases of unacceptable Private Interests causing damage to the Public Interest of sustainable advancement of global humanity just keep being created. Madness - excused as things done in pursuit of a better result for everyone with nothing substantiating the claim other than temporary profitability and perceptions of growth and opportunity, or Trumped-up regional and tribal popularity.

  9. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Just adding to the discussion on population.The big factors in lower birthrates are known to be reduced infant mortality and providing economic security and this comes from affluence and good public healthcare and education, and womens rights (as OPOF says)

    However  easy avaiability of contraception is also a huge factor. Birth rates in Africa have dropped sharply in areas with good access to contraception, even in poor communities.  

  10. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Monbiot and Krugman still get more things right than they get wrong, and are at least prepared to take a stand.

    However I don't really see vegetarianism as the right answer. I do see a case for lower meat consumption, and if combined with fish you get the right amount of protein.

    Some land can only practically be used for cattle farming as opposed to crops, but we have to be careful cattle farming and dairy farming doesn't start to crowd out crops. This just wouldnt make much sense.

    Its a complicated issue to do with higher affluence enabling more meat consumption and answers to the problem are difficult, but promoting a sensible balanced diet  would help, and avoiding fashionable but scientifically dubious high meat diets like atkins and paleo. 

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 03:02 AM on 18 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Climate science, and the endless stream of attempts to dismiss or discredit it, has exposed many cases that make it clear that 'Austerity measures are required on those who have Won or are Winning by getting away with pursuing understandably damaging and unsustainable actions'.

    The UN Sustainable Development Goals remain the best presentation of the developed understanding of what needs to change for humanity to have a future that is constantly improved, and the solution isn't 'developing more artificial ways of doing things'.

    Allowing people who 'Win any way they can get away with' to have any influence on 'what is promoted and what is discouraged - what leadership is about', has clearly only ever developed an increasing stream of damaging ultimately unsustainable actions.

    What amazes and disgusts me is the easy ability of supposedly smart wealthy powerful people (winners of the competitions in the games people play) to wilfully do something understandably damaging - pursuing Private Interests that are understandably damaging and ultimately unsustainable - wilfully and almost gleefully pursuing personal or regional or tribal benefit at the expense of the achievement of Global Sustainable Development.

    Solutions to the population problem 'require' freeing women from perceptions of 'needing a husband to survive', and ensuring the Public provision of adequate education and health care and Public provision of old age care everywhere. Those measures are proven to reduce birth rates. They eliminate the enslavement of women to men, and eliminate the need for the men to 'have a son who survives' (Henry VIII and his wives would have been a very different story if this was correctly understood at that time), and eliminate the need for elderly people to have surviving children, particularly male children (that need leads to massive over-birth as men pursue the creation of multiple sons).

    Another significantly beneficial part of the population problem solution is the 'Wealthiest - the Winner/Leaders' living the lowest impact lives because they understand the importance of 'Leading Things That Way'. Those Good Winners/Leaders would also charitably help the less fortunate people improve their lives, including allowing the less fortunate to be the sole beneficiaries of damaging unsustainable activity as they transition through a development period. That is simply what is required by Kyoto and the Paris Agreement. It is what the Fighting is all about, with undeserving wealthier people refusing to better understand how far things have developed in the wrong direction, how much developed perception of prosperity and opportunity has to be 'corrected', how much 'Austerity' has to be imposed on the current day Winners/Leaders contrary to their regional or tribal Private Interest. Many who Won/Win competitive advantage by being willing to get away with more damaging and unsustainable pursuits would consider that to be 'Austerity Measures Imposed on Them' and fight viciously, any way they can get away with, against 'Being Corrected'.

    And the trouble-makers include economists who refuse to critically evaluate what is going on guided by the Good Reason Objective of Sustainable Development. Many of them claim that their measures of economic growth showing ever increasing growth can only be extended into the future by the freedom of Private Interest pursuits that generate more of what they measure to be growth. They refuse to add the 'complexity' of evaluating whether any of the perceived growth is an unsustainable and damaging development that ultimately will be understood to be of 'no future value', actually become undeniably seen to have been massively harmful and ultimately unsustainable, like imposing Austerity of Public assistance programs on poorer nations that are struggling to develop (or imposing that same nonsense in the supposedly more developed ones that actually should be imposing targeted Austerity Measures on many of their Wealthy Powerful - the undeserving and damaging Winners).

  12. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    George Monbiot is sorta like the British version of Paul Krugman and vice versa.

  13. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Just a clarification, irrelevent to your main point. Lal is not a Nobel prizewinner, and is not listed on the Nobel prize website. Lal lists a 'Nobel certificate' on his CV, this was a document sent by the IPCC to people who made a major contribution to the IPCC report. The IPCC made the following statement on the issue:

    The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner . It would be correct to describe a scientist who was involved with AR4 or earlier IPCC reports in this way: “X contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.”
    The IPCC leadership agreed to present personalized certificates “for contributing to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC” to scientists that had contributed substantially to the preparation of IPCC reports.

  14. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Edit to above. That should read science communicator, not scientist. Monbiot is not even close to a scientist, but he is a science communicator.

  15. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Monbiot is beyond wrong here. He looked at the problem and came up with the exact opposite conclusion.

    Here is what is happening:

    “As the small trickle of results grows into an avalanche — as is now happening overseas — it will soon be realized that the animal is our farming partner and no practice and no knowledge which ignores this fact will contribute anything to human welfare or indeed will have any chance either of usefulness or of survival.” Sir Albert Howard

    Animals were removed from the farm and began being raised in confinement. Their ecosystem function replaced by agrochemicals. The land degraded as a result.

    Now does Monbiot recommend returning the animals to the farm now that the foolishness of removing those animals is astonishingly clear? No. Instead blinded by an religious like vegan dogma, instead he wishes to eliminate farm animals almost entirely, dooming us in an irreversible spiral into ecosystem collapse.

    What makes me angry is that Monbiot has been explained this concept and he even claimed he understood: 

    I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly
    George Monbiot

    But here he is returning fully brainwashed yet again. Arrrrg

    You claim to be a scientist Monbiot. Why not simply refrain from even discussing the subject until you actually have learned enough about agricultural science to form an educated science based opinion?

    There is an untold number of ways to raise animals wrong. Why not actually learn about the proper way to raise them right before commenting?

    Meanwhile here is what a leading Nobel prize winning agricultural scientist has to say:

    “Yes, agriculture done improperly can definitely be a problem, but agriculture done in a proper way is an important solution to environmental issues including climate change, water issues, and biodiversity.”-Rattan Lal

  16. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Heres some more news, important news. More dumb stuff from the Trump Administration, with no awareness of the importance of thinking widely and long term.

    "Trump 'will REMOVE climate change from the list of national security threats' "

    And Trump Administration wants to remove the words science based, evidence based, transgender and fetus and others from CDC (centre for disease control) documents. Can it become any more stupid, and small minded?

  17. The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

    This seems to be a case of: “The message makes me uncomfortable, so I’ll shoot the messenger!”

  18. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Yes we have huge pressures on farmland and inefficient high meat consumption. We also have degraded unsustainable farming methods, especially large scale industrial.

    But ask yourself why. Its partly out of control population growth, and affluence leading to meat consumption, and agriculture driven by profit seeking unconstrained market forces that are skewed towards corporate interests, as opposed to the public good.

    The solutions are obvious. Stop population growth. Adopt smaller scale regenerative farming methods. Eat less meat, research shows low meat consumption is associated with longer life expectancy.

    Even the United Nations is promoting smaller farms based on permaculture here.

    Switch government subsidies from corn biofuels crops and large farmers, to smaller farmers using more sustainable agriculture. Have better legislation on responsible use of water resources, and soil management. This will be difficult in the current political climate of anti environmentalism, but it has to happen somehow or the planet is on a one way street to huge problems.

  19. One Planet Only Forever at 02:12 AM on 17 December 2017
    California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future


    Burning fossil fuels undeniably: Creates new CO2 in the surface environment of this amazing planet -> which Increases CO2 in the atmosphere -> which results in Global Warming -> which causes climate changes -> which increases the likelihood and magnitude of forest fires.

  20. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Kay @18, no scientist to my knowledge has ever claimed the california fires were started by climate change, or directly caused by it. If you have example please post it with an internet link. They are started by campfires, arson, downed powerlines and with dry conditions spread quickly. Media may make claims climate change is cause, because media twist things.

    Climate change is making them worse by hot, dry conditions and changes to weather systems. That is a real concern. Its the same with hurricanes: climate change is not starting them, it is making them more intense.

    Article on the california fired here.

  21. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Let's say you have a below sea level was known to you to be below sea level and that it could Floyd easily if a hurricane comes through...can we just blame climate change to every disaster?  

    I ask this because every search I do on why their are so many fires in California brings me to understand with reasonable logic that these fires may have gotten out of control by the winter wind but the majority of these fires are started by man.  If started by man, yet blamed on climate it does not make sense.  It also makes people sceptical.  The winds made it worse but it is not what caused it....climate change believers would do well to not over exaggerate the situation...give true facts (that man started fires) and then add the facts of how climate change made it worse... I am not arguing against climate change but if you want to reach more in understanding then build the trust and claim the reason for the fires are the neglect of man.  The out of control winds cause the man made fire to become out of control...omissions will leave you with people whom won't listen again to your findings..whole facts and detailed information is how you gain trust... again JMO...

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You make sweeping statements about news articles but do not cite any specific examples to support your asertions. Please do so in the future.

  22. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Sorry, the link is now paywalled for some reason. Try this one for the parable of the ox, or just google it:

  23. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    OPOF @13, yes good examples. Too much austerity is mean spirited, and just  bad economics but they seem to find excuses. In fact we have another perfect example. Trumps rather dubious tax cuts are apparently going to be paid for by slash and burn entitlement cuts. It's just mind boggling.

    I think microeconomics is a legitimate science with solid laws.

    I think macroeconomis is closer to self serving voodo, with a terriblly bad predictive record. The problem might be that economists have  vested interests in policy options, and macroeconomics isn't very good at taking human psychology into account.

    Here's a good small article on self serving finance economics: The parable of the ox.

  24. One Planet Only Forever at 09:54 AM on 16 December 2017
    Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds


    The "Seven Bad Ideas" book by Jeff Mandrick includes the following gem in the chapter about the 7th Bad Idea, the claim that “Economics is a Science”:

    ““So will toppling Reinhart-Rogoff <developers of the debunked claim that historically, a national debt reaching 90% of GDP results in a sharp drop in the rate of growth of GDP>, from its pedestal change anything?” asked Paul Krugman in the New York Times. “I'd like to think so. But I predict that the usual suspects will just find another dubious piece of economic analysis to canonize, and the depression will go on and on.” Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, put it in terms all too familiar: “Why wouldn't we expect a reaction from policymakers? Because they're using research findings the way a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not for illumination. If the R&R lamppost turns out to be wobbly, the austerions <a term for austerity advocates - people who demand drastic cuts to spending on social programs to reduce debt> (or climate-change deniers, or supply-siders) will find another one. In this town [Washington, D.C.), I'm sorry to say, you can pretty much go think-tank shopping to buy the result you seek.””

    The Drunk and Lamppost portrayal is soooo perfect.

    And many economists seem to be as drunk as the politcal policy makers - because many economists are ideological/political in a Bad Way, not critical thinkers skeptical of existing claims and pursuing increased awareness and better understanding to sustainable improve the future for all of humanity.

    You may read many articles by economists that create the impression there is a strong level of criticism of unjustified dogma. But in reality many economists just ignore or dismiss the valid criticism, seeking new lampposts to lean on.

  25. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Facts may help change conservatives minds, but right now The White House is doing much that is hidden by the Russia scandal and sexual scandals. We are talking executive orders and legal appointments that are shaping America as a land of ultra conservatism,  ultra high and economic inequality, and self serving total removal of as many environmental laws as possible, as fast as possible.

    Its going to need a lot of "facts" to change this nightmare.

  26. New research, December 4-10, 2017

    The paper evaluating the fiscal benefits of stringent mitigation is really encouraging. I see futher benefits, for example our lifestyles have become very materialistic, hedonistic and stressfull, so cutting back our consumption a little, and putting those resources into mitigating climate won't hurt and will have psychological benefits. 

    And endless pollution,  economic growth and population growth on a finite planet is impossible. Humanity has to slow down and find some optimal, sustainable balance.

  27. New research, December 4-10, 2017

    This is a mainstream, online article that's easy for non-scientists like me to digest. For the first time the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) has research stating that 3 global climate events would have been virtually impossible (not just highly probable) without man adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Three Things That Wouldn't Have Happened in 2016 without Climate Change

    The 3 events are record high global temperatures, the heat waves in Asia, and the warming of the North Pacific. The article links to the source document.

    Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective

  28. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Kay @10, fair comments on the education system. However obviously we don't have perfect knowledge about everything yet, so some things taught at school are going to prove to be wrong. I have some degree of faith that most children are smart enough to realse this, and realise it's not an excuse to dismiss the education system and become too cynical. Some do of course, and I have seen this, but they tend to be the dim witted no hopers anyway. 

    Looking back, most of what I was taught at school is still valid. All the maths still holds true, because we have total proof of this subject. Most of the science has held true, but not all, for example the advice on intake of saturated fats and salt has changed now. But the big scientific issues have stood the test of time well like newtons laws, evolution, dangers of smoking tobacco, etc.

    Of course the internet has changed everything by giving people quick access to vast information, including peer reviewed research and also millions of pages of complete nonsense for example laughable websites like ice age We have to be teaching children how to differentitate good information from bad, and a lot of this involves evaluating the credibility of websites, finding the qualifications of their authors, and identifying logical fallacies and trickerty in peoples claims. This will happen with time. Things take time to settle down and evolve.

    Climate change is a lifestyle issue to some extent. People are of course naturally reluctant to make sacrifices and electric cars have been expensive, although this is changing fast. Anyway this is why its important to have things like carbon tax and dividend schemes, and subsidies on electric cars to help push peoples behaviour along in the right way, and bring electric cars that little bit closer to affordability. Ideally people would just make better environmental choices in a voluntary way, and take some personal responsibility, but we know we sometimes need things like carbon taxes to help change behaviour. We also need leadership because humans are followers. Once you get all these things, change is often rapid.

    We dont have to give up nearly as much as you think. Not even close. The costs of completely changing to to renewable energy are put at 1%  of a countries gdp (total economic output or wealth). This is an easy maths exercise you could do yourself because all the information on costs is easily accessed.  This cost is easy to cope with, and in simple terms it approximately equals less than 1% of peoples income. Costs of electric cars are very close to an average middle size petrol driven hatchback. There are other issues, like reducing industrial emissions but none of this requires huge reduction in lifestyle or vast costs.

    Of course some sacrifices are required, but certainly not the sort your imagine that takes anyone back a century in time. You are right we need a better articulated plan and good politicians would spell that out sort of plan out like a mission statement. Half the problem is politicians are captured by business and fossil fuel lobby groups and campaign donors, and the other half of the problem is their simplstic belief in some cases that free markets will solve every problem as pointed out by OPOF. I don't have magic answers, but perhaps only the public can change this, by making good voting choices, and contacting their local politicians and putting pressure on their local politicians, and of course changing their own lifestyles staring this very minute, even if they start with small things.

  29. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Nigelj, I loved your post.  I do completely agree with your statements at least to the understanding of the 'whys'.  I am not college educated, just to start off with.  What I am is just a average housewife whom keeps a eye on many different subjects...Not only do they interest me but I have children whom I home schooled up until 2 years ago when they went back to public schools...I started to realize that there is a lot to try to teach our children.  Not only mathematics or language, but the amount of information to research is beyond the capability of 5th graders.  In essence, when I was in middle school in 80's we were taught that our blood inside our body is blue but oxygen makes it red when it leaves the body.  I know this sounds ridiculous now, however that was what the public schools taught in health class.  The problem in our society (in my poinion) is connected to what I just explained.  When you learn something from a respected teacher and then find out later it was wrong....well, it causes a lack of trust.  Science changes.  When science is taught, does not say, "this may change with further study."  This causes scepticism in what we learn.  The realization that you may have much more information stored incorrectly from our teaching is embarrassing to say the least when a child informs you what color your blood is really and why.  Imagine the test you took that caused you to score a A in health class was all a false assumption.  How many more?  Now in 21st century we have google.  Research at the tips of our fingers.  (I love goodwill book store too) but my point based on 'who do we believe' we have to reason...  Even if the information is acceptable, doesn't mean anyone will act on it...  The main problem is lifestyle.  When you tell your child that if he/her has unprotected sex they will be taking chances of pregnancy and disease.  This information is backed by scientific study.  However it is most likely your child will take the chance this once..or twice... It's lifestyle...  The money to afford the condoms, the "It don't feel as good" or just plain "I don't care, we could all die tomorrow."

    Put climate change into the scenario above and you have the societies majority reasoning.  1] Doubt that it would happen.  2] I can't afford to filter my well water, it's cheaper to buy bottle water. 3] I love this color paint, even though I know what it does to the environment to make it. 4] I know cancer is most likely caused by radio active waves and is increasingly rising in communities; however; it won't happen to me.

    All these things are what the average person will think but not say out loud to a climate change scientist.

    Just like your child would not tell you he may have or had unprotected sex until he is caught and has no choice but to tell you.


    Why?  What can they do?  Everyone wants google..even NASA. Wants AI from Google to see beyond our solar system.  Everyone wants to buy the cage free chicken eggs or eggs from a farm down the road but the cost difference could mean I can't make it to next payday if I include milk, meat, and vegetables bought from a natural farm...

    Just last week Walmart offered milk at 95 cents and 38 cent dozen eggs because a health store opened in the area.  This at Christmas time is hard to resist...

    I am guilty...I bought 8 gallons of milk and chocolate syrup and cereal and muffin kids have loved the menu this week...

    So from a average Joe  (Jolene) ;) the climate won't have the effect the scientist want from society because there is no plan to solving fix this problem would mean more than no plastics or no caged chicken eggs.  It would mean returning to a world before Benjamin Franklin.  Or Jefferson Bell.  Maybe before Einstein.  JMO...and thoughts.  I don't think even the scientist want to give up that much...especially the doctors.  Not many people even know how to grow their own garden or even how to rest the land... solution that is acceptable.

  30. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    OPOF @8, thanks for the tip on the book, I may order it.

    I certainly accept some economists have those views.There are different schools of thought, and different countries also have different views. It also depends whether one is talking academic economists, or ones captured by the financial sector ( have a read of the book Other Peoples Money). 

    I still think a big problem is politicians and think tanks like the Heartland Institute.  They missrepresnt what people like Adam Smith really promoted, and take it to extremes. He would turn in his grave.

    The generational costs can be quantified or at least estimated. I haven't read much about what economists think about that aspect or how they discount it but its more of a political decision ultimately. Economics is a peculiar thing that is part science part planning, but decisions on how to weigh future impacts are ultimately personal, corporate and political. Economists can only provide cost estimates.

    We are rightly worried about climate change and its getting urgent. Just looking beyond this at sustainability, environment and economics generally it all looks grim and problematic at the moment, but it takes time for attitudes to change and I can sense younger people and some corporates accepting things must change. Its evolutionary, I'm taking positive view here. However the problems are getting very serious and urgent with climate change, with possibility of nasty tipping points and things becoming irreversible. The public have to demand better of politicians, it all starts with public getting smarter and more forward thinking.

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 14:47 PM on 15 December 2017
    Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds


    Jeff Madrick presents some pretty compelling case examples when the majority of economists did not (and still do not) admit to the unacceptable reality of what is going on. Often they blame regional governments for bad management of 'their' economy, usually based on the ideology that less Public Intervention is better because the free action of markets can be trusted to develop improvements for the future of humanity (problems for any region could not develop from the unhelpful dogma based actions because such actions could never rationally develop, and only survive briefly if they did).

    Actually, I seldom see an economist base any of their evaluations on the Goal of achieving sustainable improvements of human activity, in spite of the glaring case of climate science and what has economically happened in response to the establishment and strengthening of global understanding of the unacceptability of increased or prolonged burning of fossil fuels that started globally back in the 1960s (and has led to the development of the Sustainable Development Goals which include the urgent need for significant climate action).

    Economic Leaders have failed to responsibly respond to that clear understanding. In fact, many economists continue to argue for balancing 'what would have to be given up by a portion of current day humanity to reduce the future harm to others' with 'the increased harm being done to everyone in the future'. They seriously believe it is OK to harm/challenge the future generations as long as the cost to the current generation of not harming the Others is considered to be Higher than the harm they think is being caused, and therefore is a net-benefit if there is no reduction of the amount of harm being done (as if the nation suffering future consequence can be considered to be a person evaluating a net-benefit for themselves). That the argument is only popular because the future generations have no power to Get Even or set things Right.

    The current generations addicted to false unsustainable perceptions of prosperity and opportunity should be furious with the loss they face today because of the irresponsible actions of their recent predecessors. A new generation of makers-of-more-trouble should not be popular anywhere. And the economist faith in teh power of rational leadership in the economy would mean that the vast majority of wealthy and powerful people would be diligently trying to make the entire population more aware and better understanding of what needs to change (and refuse to deal with the trouble-makers). But economists, a consensus of them, still commonly claim that people Freer to believe what they want and do as they please will produce that Good Result, just be patient and stop getting in the way of the infallable belief in efficient markets - Good People will Win the Game.

    Critical Thinking based Skepticism measuring success as 'sustainably improving the future for all of humanity' is conspicuously Missing in Action when it comes to Economics (and many other easily politicized matters).

  32. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Tamino has a new analysis of sea level rise. Apparently there was a problem with early satalite data. When the data is corrected and ENSO is removed, he gets this graph:

    sea level rise

    Note the strong acceleration after 2010.   Tamino estimates sea level rise from 2010-2017 as 5.5mm/yr.  It may not be significant since the time is so short.

  33. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    OPOF @4 all correct, except that economists do in fact accept a need for regulation in some areas.  They  accept the need for rules in areas where markets don't self regulate well, and environmental impacts is one of the main cases of market failure, the whole tragedy of the commons thing. They also accept a need for safety laws and basic labour laws.  I read the economist journal every week. Economists simply say don't over regulate in areas like labour laws, trying to fix prices, and where an activity is someones private business, with little affect on anyone else.

    It is politicians who make an illogical mess of legislation. It is politicians that dislike business regulation of any kind. They do this by taking economists advice to not over regulate, and twist this into a case to regulate nothing! Politicians are captured by business lobbies, and thier own personal self interest. Of course it doesn't stop the same politicians over regulating some elements of life that are none of their business, or anyone elses business.

  34. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Red Baron, you are not the typical conservative given your embrace of quite substantial change! Is this your nature do you think, or ability to step back and be analytical?

    And what would change a conservatives mind on the climate issue, if not facts?

    When agw climate change was first proposed as a simple idea, you presumably did not say "this must be true" but at least wanted an explanation? What is this if not responding to facts?

    PS: the more I look at smaller scale regenerative farming, the more I think its the way of the future, or at least part of the future food production system. Society has to become sustainable longer term, so probably consume less in some areas where we have the problems, better controls on polluting activity, more recycling eventually, and smaller population. Only this combination makes sense.

  35. One Planet Only Forever at 09:33 AM on 15 December 2017
    Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Correction in my comment.

    The book title is "“Seven Bad Ideas - How mainstream economists have damaged America and the World”

  36. One Planet Only Forever at 09:30 AM on 15 December 2017
    Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    The current New York Times website includes an article by Nadja Popovich and Livia Albeck-Ripka, “How Republicans Think About Climate Change — in Maps”. It is based on “The spatial distribution of Republican and Democratic climate opinions at state and local scales” by Matto Mildenberger, Jennifer R. Marlon, Peter D. Howe and Anthony Leiserowitz published in the journal Climatic Change.

    That study exposes a lack of understanding of many Republicans, and that there are regional pockets of more severe lack of awareness or mis-understanding. The level of awareness that climate change is greater than the acceptance that the only scientifically supported understanding is human impact, particularly the burning of fossil fuels. That disconnect can lead to mis-understanding what policy actions are required to address the problem tey are aware of. And though the NYT report does not mention it, the regions of less understanding have a stronger developed desire to benefit from the global burning of fossil fuels.

    That is consistent with this article's reporting that many 'better educated' people may be more aware of climate matters, but are motivated to resist better understanding of the cause of the observed results. Some of them may change their mind simply by becoming aware that the climate science consensus regarding human impacts is 97%. Others may change their mind when they actually honestly investigate the matter to better understand it. But some will dig into denial rather than accept the rational better understanding/explanation. Some understand what they have to give up if they accept the better understanding. Nobody can actually sensibly argue against the science, they can either learn or get angrier when it is brought to their attention. The angry ones need the most help, and need to be kept from having any influence until they are helped to understand that they need to change their minds.

    On a related point. I am reading “Seven Bad Ideas - How mainstream economists have America and the World” by Jeff Madrick. It is a detailed and well researched challenge of Economists, particularly the ones that resist better understanding that 'people freer to believe what they want and do as they please' does not develop sustainable improvements of the economic activity of humanity.

    Many economists appear to accept that human self-interest can be damaging. But they believe that free market competition is a cure for that problem.

    Economists deny or dismiss the fact that less acceptable behaviour has a competitive advantage, especially with today's manipulative marketing science. And they further deny that allowing less acceptable behaviour to compete for profit and popularity actually develops even less acceptable behaviour. They have to deny it to justify their faith in “No Rules Are the Best Rules Economically”.

    Ultimately the problem is a lack of an ethical Good Objective. The undeniable Public Interest Good Objective is developing a sustainable better future for all of humaity. That includes sustainable improvements of the economy - which requires all economic activity to be sustainable - which requires the correction of any developed unsustainable and harmful activity.

    Private Interests that are impediments to that Public Interest have a lot to lose if they accept what is undeniably required to support/protect the Public Interest. And some will try to claim that Private Interests competing freely will produce the required Good Result, which can easily be understood to be a fairy tale, yet is passionately believed by many supposedly well educated economists, a concensus of them believing nonsense.

  37. Analysis: How could the Agung volcano in Bali affect global temperatures?

    The article quite convincingly describes the effect of volcano eruptions on the temperature of the atmosphere. However, some provisions seem disputable. 

    «The sulfur dioxide released combines with water to form sulfuric acid aerosols”. Sulfur dioxide can be converted to sulfuric acid in the presence of water and hydroxyl radicals catalyzing oxidation. Obviously, in the stratosphere, at temperatures much lower than the freezing point of water, sulfuric acid will not form. Apparently, in these conditions, sulfur dioxide itself (the boiling point -10 ° C) is liquefied and forms an aerosol. Subsequently, under the influence of gravity, it descends into the troposphere, where it interacts with water and is partially oxidized to sulfuric acid, and partially remains in the form of sulfurous acid (H2SO3). And, of course, “sulfuric acid aerosols” are not “sulfate aerosols”.
       Influence of emitted CO2 as a greenhouse gas is very small. Naturally, the release of CO2 at the volcanic eruption is insignificant in comparison with the global technogenic emission. However, a local increase in concentration can be significant. It should be noted that along with CO2, water vapor and sulfur dioxide which also absorb IR-radiation fall into the atmosphere.

  38. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Interesting. As a conservative, I am wondering what it would take to change my mind? After all I am both a conservative and an advocate of changing our current neoluddite industrial systems to modern sustainable systems. AGW mitigation is tops on the list.

    I honestly doubt any of your so called "facts" would ever change my mind at all.

    You are welcome to try though.

    I am an organic farmer. I am not afraid of change. I am the change!

  39. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Just to be clear, the scepticism we see from the climate denialist people is clearly politically motivated at least in part, and is also crazy irrational scepticism, probably because it's politically motivated.

    It is also similar to the poor quality scepticism of people who think we didn't land on the moon based on alleged anomalies in various photos (at first glance they are odd anomalies). These have been totally explained by NASA, yet their scepticism persists, leading me to believe there is some sort of anti government libertarianism and  conspiracy theory ideation in their thinking. It's so similar in style to the climate issue.

  40. Research shows that certain facts can still change conservatives’ minds

    Interesting research, but not surprising. Scepticism is natural (dont take that comment the wrong way) and is a mechanism that has evolved to help us evaluate new ideas and whether they are true or false and a threat to us or just new information of value . We need more information to decide whether the theory is acceptable.

    Of course the nature of the sceptical response seems to differ between liberals and conservatives, but theres some element of scepticim underneath with both groups.

    Given scepticism appears to be the "default" position it can only be changed by facts, whether its science facts, consensus facts, or facts that show a particular ideology may be flawed. You cannot possibly change someones mind by saying nothing.

    The hardest scepticism to change is politically motivated sceptism discussed in this article here. IMO the reason is people are filtering the climate issue through a series of political beliefs including adherence to free market fundamentalism and small government and proving this ideology correct or incorrect is very difficult, so until that changes its hard to eliminate the climate scepticism. Europe has more or less reached a consensus that the mixed economy philosophy is best, ( a bit of market and a bit of government) but views are much more divided in America.

    Because America has such an emphasis on small government and freedom and liberty ( and dont get me wrong, these are not bad values as such, its a question of where to strike the best balance) but the problem is the extremism in America means any limits on lobby groups and election funding are seen as ideologically unacceptable. And so politicians become controlled by special interest groups that wield disproportionate power. This situation is causing real problems and is senseless. Its a sort of "catch 22" situation to quote the Jospeh Heller novel.

    However only public recognition of these problems, and public pressure on politicians is going to change this scenario, both in terms of promoting legislation reducing the power of lobby groups, and convincing individual politicians to take climate change more seriously. The battle will be one by chipping away at the issues on many fronts.

  41. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Bob Loblow, could be a Kabuki dance. Hadn't heard of that one, most fascinating reading.

    But right now Pruitt is serious, so its a war dance. 


    Or the red blue debate could turn  into maybe Danse Macabre by Saint Sains, refer wikipedia.

    "According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (here represented by a solo violin). His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year. The piece opens with a harp playing a single note,"

  42. The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

    Bozza @3, are you thinking that at the next election Trump may promote a mild form of carbon tax or something, to win over the democrats and public? He does play your long game and is is as cunning as a fox, but I think the public are probably sick of his general "demaenour" and would see through the trickery. People have limits of what they will tolerate.

  43. The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

    Bozza @3, what do you mean by that? 

    Won't divert into politics too much, but Trump is under attack in many areas, and it seems unlikely he will survive all of them.

  44. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Nijelj, for sure he sees it as negotiable- That is the exact point. As far as winning a second term and the pure politics of securing his party’s pride he has that ace up his sleeve, though, because he is playing the long game on this!

    In chess you never play a good move too early: this is old school strategy!

    Another term of phrase is, “..stretching the game!”

    Its just angles and the media needs to confect, by definition, a whole bunch of mistakes just to sell copy!

    You think these people came down in the last shower perhaps?

  45. The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

    Trump will use regulation to win his second term: mark my words!

  46. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Climate change deniers can be roughly (and generally not exclusively to a single category) grouped into lobbyists, loons, ideologues, and opportunists. I will refrain from naming names out of sheer politeness, but I think that covers the gamut. Serious data-driven climate denial is basically non-existent. 

    It's going to be well-nigh impossible for Pruitt to put together a respectable panel of climate denial 'red-team' people. 

  47. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    My guess: Pruitt won't actually start or announce a team if it is obvious that they are cranks, and if he can't find willing participants with any degree of reall expertise for the "skeptics" side, he'll just keep on making noise. If the event doesn't happen, it will be blamed on the genuine climate science community for making an environment so toxic that the "other side" is afraid to participate.

    This is just a Kabuki Dance.

  48. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    So from the EE news media article, the Heartland Institute has proposed a list of anyone and everyone including, lawyers and self-funded hobbyists, nuclear physicists, engineers, and maybe a couple of actual climate scientists. This is pretty sad, and must be deeply embarassing for Pruitt, as the longer it goes on the more obvious it is that precious few genuinely sceptical climate research scientists actually exist.

    It will also become apparent that their scepticism is more narrowly focussed than people realise and is mainly on detailed aspects of the issue. As I have said many times, sceptical scientists make denialist noise on blogs on the internet, but when they are put on the spot in full public view interviewed by media, they are suddenly not so sceptical. We have seen examples with Lindzen and Spencer. A lot of this sceptical thing is attention seeking and stirring.

  49. The US is penny wise and pound foolish on the climate

    The chart comaring the cost of climate research vs. that of US weather disasters was not isplayed here but on only. The chart is somewhat simplistic & tiny. John would better show the actual number which is impossible to eyeball from the tiny chart. Is it 2% or 1% or 0.1%?

    To be fair, you have to also estimate how much of the weather cost is due to AGW (which is very hard to estimate) but assuming most of the cost would indeed be due to AGW (e.g. last 20cm of sea surge due to SLR may be the tipping point of a flooding of the infrastructure, otherwise holdable) the result of the comparison is obvious.

    Still, because IMO most GOP policy makers are not that stupid as not to understand basic facts, but rather blatant liars on FF donations, the real problem for them is not the science itself but the large cost (to their own pockets) of changing the policy in order to do something about AWG. Their denial of science and defunding of science is a lie to the public and to themselves. So, to address the very root of that lie, the comparison of the cost of mitigation vs. that of the disasters is needed. That comparison have been done eleswhere, andd even though the difference is not as stark and ultimate mitigation method still do not exist, it's still cheaper to start mitigation ASAP rather than burden it on future generations.

    IMO, any cuts to CS are not a big deal in the overall picture. The cuts to the mitigation efforts are far more serious. In the end, we will be far better off if we don't understand the climate anymore but do drop emissions to rezo per Paris Agreement. In this context, t-man's clownish efforts to remove US from it, is far greater crime against poor and against future generation than the CS cuts described.

  50. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Acording to E&E news,  Pruitt is having trouble getting scientists to sign up for the Red team. Real scientists like Judith Curry and John Christy do not want to serve with a bunch of crackpots and the crackpots do not want to be left out.  Curry specifically said she did not want to work with a bunch of Heartland funded cranks (Heartland sent Pruitt a list of possible members of the Red team.  Curry and Spencer were on the list but said they have not been asked if they want to participate).  Even some conservative politicians say they want  a serious debate which excludes many "skeptics".

    In addition, since the skeptics do not agree with each other they cannot agree on what positions they want to support.  While it will give them a national stage they do not deserve, if scientist A says CO2 is increasing but no warming and scienitst B says it is warming but that is good and scientist 3 says CO2 is not increasing they will not come across as convincing.  Those whose views are not expounded on will be angered.

    I think that Pruitt may not be able to organize a red team.  He has made a lot of noise and has little to show for it.  Many of the members of the Heartland list can only be called cranks, certainly not scientists.

Prev  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

Smartphone Apps


© Copyright 2018 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us